Duffy Seeks More Goals
Dundalk winger Jamie Duffy wants more goals after notching his seventh of the season to cap an outstanding ‘Man of the Match’ performance at Station Road on Friday evening. Duffy’s delicate chip just 30 seconds after the restart put the Lilywhites on the road to victory, and, after securing their second win on the trot, the 24-year-old set a target of at least eight more between now and the end of the campaign.
“I’ve always said that I should score more goals, and I’m happy this season that I’m putting myself in the box so I can get those chances,” Jamie told dundalkfc.com. “I probably should have scored two or three tonight, but one is another one. My aim is fifteen for the season. Assists will always come, I’ve always been doing that, but I want to add goals. I’m happy with my own form, but as long as the team is winning, that’s all that really matters. Whether I’m playing well or not, as long as we win, and win this league and get this club back where it should be, in the Premier Division, that’s all that matters.”
The win lifted Dundalk back to the top of the table after Shelbourne and Waterford United both slipped-up. However, Duffy was more concerned about putting three more precious points on the board. “It’s a great win,” he admitted. “It’s a tough place to come. It doesn’t really matter about other results in the division. Once we look after ourselves, I think we’ll be fine. It was disappointing to lose the goal, but we just had to see it out. They had a few free-kicks and corners, which are probably their biggest threat, so we had to see that out. It was a little bit nervy at times, but I think we saw it out well.
“In my own opinion, we should have maybe been three or four up at that stage, but then we rely on the back four and even the midfield just to sit and hold, and we did it really well. Again, the only thing they could have threatened from was free-kicks from just outside the box and corners, which I think we dealt with well, bar, obviously, the one they scored from. Tonight was our first two goals from open play since we came back from the break. We’ve created a lot, but it just hasn’t been going in for us. I think, now that we’ve scored two from open play, we can push on from here and, hopefully, free flow again.”After suffering two defeats in quick succession after returning from the two-week June break, Dundalk have now bounced back with two straight one-goal wins. However, despite going through a difficult few weeks, Jamie insists that the atmosphere in the squad has never dipped. “The mood in the camp is really good,” he said. “It always has been. There’s a great bunch of lads in there and there’s no animosity at all. The last few weeks have been tough, but we’ve stuck together and we’ve come out of it, and that’s really positive.
“Especially with the way it has been going since the break. We’ve played okay, but we haven’t been getting results and we haven’t been scoring goals. Obviously, the results with Shels and Waterford have gone our way tonight. Shels, in the last few weeks, have really gone our way, so we have been lucky, but I suppose you make your own luck and we’ll push on from here. We could, realistically, be six points behind, but we’re top of the league now and we’re in a great position. But, again, there’s a long way to go. There’s eighteen games still to go, so there’s a lot of football to be played yet.
“The main aim is just to get out of this league and to get back to the Premier Division, and nothing else. No matter how we do it, we want to get out of this league, and once we do that, that’s the goal achieved. You’re not going to play well every week, but you need to be strong at the back and create enough chances to score up top, and that’s what we done tonight.”
Of the nine signings manager John Gill made during the winter, Duffy has proved one of the most influential. However, Gill has admitted that a little bit of gentle persuasion at half-time was necessary. “Sometimes, Jamie is very frustrating,” the boss admitted. “He’s like any wide player; at times, you feel like pulling your hair out. In fairness to him, I had a pop at him at half-time and he responded to what I wanted him to do, because I told him if he didn’t, that he’d be sitting beside me in the dugout. He did what I asked him to do, and he finished his goal very, very well. He has seven goals now – he’s the third highest scorer in the league for a wide player. He gives you something different, and that’s why he’ll always be in my team.”